'Anabta, Deir Sharaf, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Te'enim Crossing, Thu 14.7.11, Afternoon

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Michal Bostok, Yehudit Levin (reporting, photographing)

Translator:  Charles K.


14:00  Habla checkpoint– we arrived when the gatesinfo-icon were being closed.

New hours:

Morning – 07:00-09:00

Afternoon – 13:00-14:00

Evening – 17:45-19:00

The soldiers promised to put another sign on the gate (like there was until recently), listing the hours it’s open.

14:10  Eliyahu crossing- Two police vehicles.  No congestion.

We passed the former location of the Beit Iba checkpoint.  Now it’s a dusty road with no sign of its past, though there are people who can’t forget.

17:15  An army jeep drives toward Deir Sharaf.  A command car parked at El Gandi’s plant nursery (before Deir Sharaf).

17:20  Anabta checkpoint – An army jeep parked at the checkpoint.  Soldiers in the watch tower.

We’re told that the army was also here in the morning.  Vehicles aren’t being stopped.

17:35  Kafriat/Te’enim  No congestion.  They ask our driver for his ID.

17:40  Irtah/Sha’ar Efrayim checkpoint– Palestinian laborers returning home from work in Israelgo through the checkpoint without having to enter the inspection area.

We walked to the other side of the checkpoint, where we saw a woman waiting at the revolving gate into Israel.  A Palestinian who helped us translate told us that she’s been waiting since 16:30 (that is, more than an hour).

Two armed security personnel were nearby – we tried to call their attention to her and called to them, but they ignored our presence:  they turned their backs and went into the area reserved for the guards.

18:00  We returned to the facility, to the entry area for laborers returning from Israel, to try and find a way to call the guards’ attention to the woman waiting at the revolving gates.  We called the humanitarian office, talked to M., who transferred us to the Tulkarm DCO, without the desired result, while Michal B. tried to arouse the guards’ attention and called loudly to the window of the building they were in.

It didn’t help.

Then Michal tried the magic potion that made the guards jump up immediately – she lifted up her hand with the phone and photographed the upper window where the guards can sometime be glimpsed.

So someone finally “paid attention” to us – a guard, Robi Turgeman, comes over immediately and announces that he’s going to detain us and call the police because we’re in a security installation where photography is forbidden.  He won’t talk to M. from the humanitarian office, who hears the conversation and asks to speak with him.  He demands that we give him the cameras so he can inspect them and erase the confidential security material…

18:10  El'ad Yiftach, the duty officer at the checkpoint, arrives.  We ask him to allow the Palestinian woman to go through the checkpoint.  He said that 21 minutes ago people came in from the other side, so the woman couldn’t have been waiting for an hour.  Nor does he understand why she doesn’t enter.

We said that we didn’t see – like she didn’t – a green light at the revolving gates.

He said that it was unacceptable that the guards (who turned their backs to us) hadn’t called her.

He said he’d check whether there was a green light.

18:35  The Palestinian woman exits from the checkpoint inspection.